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Monitoring of bacterial and parasitological contamination during various treatment of sludge

Abstract : Wastewater treatment results in the production of large quantities of sludge. Agricultural use is an interesting alternative provided that the health risks are taken into account. In France, a decree (1998) defines “sanitized” sludge as sludge that has been treated so that pathogens (Salmonella, enteroviruses, viable nematode eggs) are no longer detectable. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of various sludge treatments on 2 types of pathogens (Salmonella and nematode eggs). We also assessed the levels of micro-organisms that indicate faecal contamination (E. coli, Enterococci, sulfite-reducing anaerobes spores). Various treatment processes were analyzed: 4 biological, 3 chemical, 1 heat , 2 storage and 4 sampling campaigns were carried out. Concerning the parasitological contamination of sludge at the entrance of all sites, concentrations of total nematode eggs and viable nematode eggs were highly heterogeneous (respectively, from 2 to 53 eggs/10 g DM and from 2 to 45 eggs/10 g DM) with viable eggs present in all samples. The total concentration of nematode eggs in the sludge was not greatly affected by treatment or storage, and was in the range <1–66 eggs/10 g DM. However, the situation was different for mean viable egg counts. For four treatments, no viable eggs were detected. Mesophilic processes are inefficient at eliminating viable nematode eggs. Salmonella were systematically detected in all sludge samples at the entry to the station, except for limed sludge intended for storage. At the end of four treatments Salmonella had been totally eliminated. For the fecal contamination indicators, the largest decrease in E. coli contamination was observed following liming and after thermophilic treatment. The mesophilic treatments resulted in very small decreases in contamination. A similar pattern was observed with Enterococci. For the spores of sulfite-reducing anaerobe bacteria, with the exception of heat treatment, which reduced contamination by 3.2 log units, the maximum decrease in contamination was 1.7 log. For storage of sludge, E. coli and Enterococci levels had decreased at first but then increased between 6 and 8 months of storage.
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Contributor : Christophe Gantzer <>
Submitted on : Monday, October 8, 2018 - 6:36:53 PM
Last modification on : Friday, February 26, 2021 - 2:42:02 PM

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C. Gantzer, P. Gaspard, L Galvez, A. Huyard, N Dumouthier, et al.. Monitoring of bacterial and parasitological contamination during various treatment of sludge. Water Research, IWA Publishing, 2001, 35 (16), pp.3763 - 3770. ⟨10.1016/S0043-1354(01)00105-1⟩. ⟨hal-01890654⟩



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